Garbine Muguruza outclasses Wimbledon champion Simona Halep winning in straight sets to tee up Australian Open final clash with Sofia Kenin
Spain's Garbine Muguruza has booked her place in the final of the Australian Open, beating Wimbledon Champion Simona Halep in straight sets.
The unseeded 26 year-old put in an impressive display as she claimed a hard-fought 7-6 (10-8) 7-5 victory after fending off four set points in the first set and twice fighting back from a break down in the second.
Two-time Grand Slam champion, Mugurza, has not made a Grand Slam final since claiming the Wimbledon title in 2017 and has been under the radar as she progressed through the early rounds in Melbourne.
Former World No 1 Halep was by no means off her game matching the Spaniard as they both saved two break points on the way to a first set tie-break. Muguruza quickly found herself 3-0 up before Halep claimed four on the trot.
Unperturbed, Muguruza held her nerve to find herself set point up at 6-4. Romanian Halep dug deep to drag the momentum into her favour and earn another set point. However a huge serve save the Spaniard who then capitalised on a backhand error from Halep.
The set was won after a slick drop shot from Muruguruza forced Halep to net and watch her hopes of the final begin to slip away.
In the second set the pair were neck and neck again. First blood went to the Romanian fourth seed who broke to go 2-1 up, but the favour was quickly returned and they were level on 2-2.
Halep fought back and another break saw her soon leading 5-4, just a game away from taking it to a decider. But Muguruza used her experience and held her nerve eventually breaking the Romanian with her fourth break point to level at 5-5.
She kept the momentum with her and held serve for a 6-5 lead as the match reached the two hour mark. At match point there were no signs of nerves as she rushed into net an a soft touch backhand volley forced the error from her opponent and sealed her fate.
Muguruza will now take on America's Sofia Kenin in the final as both women bid to win their first Australian open. Should the Spaniard win, she will be within touching distance of the Career Grand Slam having already won the French Open in 2016 and Wimbledon in 2017.